Trump Ally Warns of Impeachment if the President Fires Mueller

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), an ally of President Donald Trump and third in line for the presidency, warned Thursday that the president would risk impeachment if he attempted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

Yet even as Hatch issued this strong caution — it's always striking when a member of president's own party brings up impeachment — he declined to support legislation that would limit the president's ability to fire Mueller. 

Trump has recently voiced frustrations with the special counsel's Russia investigation and with the leadership of Justice Department, leading many to fear that he would attempt to fire either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel's work. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday that would protect Mueller, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declared that he will not allow the bill to come to the chamber floor.

Hatch was among the committee members to vote against the bill; some fear it may be unconstitutional. 

Nevertheless, Hatch tried to make it clear he wasn't offering the president a pass or signaling that he'd look the other way if Trump tried to interfere with the Russia investigation.

"Firing Mueller would cause a firestorm," Hatch said. "It could even result in impeachment.”

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